Musings: Interview With Pearl D’Souza

An overwhelming sense of longing, a yearning for the unknown, is what Pearl D’Souza so delicately portrays in her artwork that seeks to find the meaning of being at home. It is the anchor we seek but are often oblivious to.

Pearl is currently a student at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore. We got in touch with her recently, and learned a bit more about her artistic journey.


Hello Pearl, it’s a pleasure to have this conversation with you, tell us more about yourself.

Well today pretty much everything you want to know about a person is on social media. But here it goes. I am a 21 year old illustrator/artist. I was born and brought up in the gorgeous state of Goa. Currently, I am a third year student studying in Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore.

How would you describe your journey towards becoming an artist?

I always knew I loved to draw and paint. I was always particular about my stationery in school. While my friends loved playing ‘pen fights’ I would be the weird little one arranging her colour pencils. Unfortunately my school offered art only till class four, after which I sort of lost touch. My parents always knew I was talented and forced me to join an advanced art class (much against my will). But that class was what really changed the way I looked at art. My mentor (and art teacher in this class) was someone who I began to look up to. He gave me the direction and push I needed. And here I am today, being interviewed for it!

Is there any particular theme you have in mind when you approach your art?

Not really. Most of my work stems from free time and doodling around. It usually begins with me drawing at random, and then I begin to develop a theme around it.

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Stilts by Pearl D’Souza

Tshirts, prints, notebooks, coasters and more available here.

Talk us through your creative process. How long does it take you from the moment you form your idea to the moment you complete it?

I don’t think I could say how long, because it varies from piece to piece. But I consider myself a fast worker. Once I have an idea in mind I needed to flesh it out before I lose focus. A lot of times there are certain words, textures, lines or colours I see in my head, and I feel the need to turn it into something physical immediately. A lot of times, if I wait a couple of days, I lose out on certain elements.

Familiarize us with the tools you use to get the desired output; we would also love to have a glimpse at your work station.

I use a mix of hand drawn and digital mediums. Although I am a firm advocate for hand drawn art. Thus a major chunk of my work is done using pens and inks. I use Rotring pens, Micron pens, archival inks, nibs and brushes, and a whole lot of other stuff I find lying around my work station. I’ve also started dabbling in digital art and use a Wacom Intuos Graphic Tablet.

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Pearl’s Workstation
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Pearl’s Inventory Of Tools

How would describe your time at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology? How has studying there helped you as an artist?

Initially it was overwhelming for me. To go from a schooling system where structure is so important to Srishti where freedom and space is of utmost importance was insane, to say the least. I remember how difficult I found it to address the faculty here by first name and NOT Sir or Miss. Srishti is a place where you grow, but at your own pace. I am exposed to so much knowledge, art, and culture here. And for an artist and designer this is what matters most, that you are open- to the world, to people, to opinions and ideas. I have learnt the importance of process when you work and how the first idea you have is not always the best. Another key learning I’ve had is from my peers. Because Srishti provides a point of convergence for artists from different disciplines, I am able to interact with film makers, furniture designers, animators, illustrators and textile designers and learn from them. And this imbibing of skill is what amazes me here.

Do you remember the first thing you ever drew?

I don’t remember the first thing I drew, but I do remember how I used to love drawing flowers. I remember using oil pastels to draw red flowers with yellow centers, and I would draw little tendrils coming out from underneath them.

Is there any artist whose work has influenced you significantly?

Firstly I think I would have to say my mother. She doesn’t consider herself an artist, but as a little girl I knew I wanted to draw just like her.

Mario Miranda’s work was of great importance in shaping my style. I went through tons of books with his work in it. His attention to detail was what inspired me.

Today, I draw inspiration from artists and visual communicators on Instagram. Although a lot of people think the app is a waste of time, I consider it a gold mine. Artist pages such as @kyorddd @shwetamalhotra @raychponygold @sam_kulavoor @natillustration @jamesjeanart @raminnasibov and @bahkadisch are some of my recent go tos for inspiration.

How do you deal with deadlines?

Deadlines are stressful for everyone. I attack a deadline like I’d attack someone trying to grab my slice of pizza. It’s as simple as that.

Are you working on any projects currently? We’d love to know more about your work.

I have recently begun a series of pieces titled ‘She’s cool’. It is a series of black and white portraits that pokes fun at how pictures were taken before ‘being candid’ got you more likes of social media. I remember how as a child, we would be made to sit down on our parents laps with our legs together and hair fixed in order to look just perfect. Blank expressions and stillness is what this series is about.

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Stilts by Pearl D’Souza

Tshirts, prints, notebooks, coasters and more available here.

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Stilts by Pearl D’Souza

Tshirts, prints, notebooks, coasters and more available here.

What does success mean to you?

‘Success is a big word’ , they say. I’ve learnt what success means from my parents. They have had their fair share of struggle and sacrifice to get where they are today and to get my sister and I to where we are. But being rich was not success to them. It was about maintaining good and strong relationships, doing good for society and making sure the family was safe and happy. It may sound like a real sop story, but to me success is these little things.

How important is music in recreating visions off your mind?

I know I may get a lot of hate for this, but music is not on the top of my list when it comes to my art. I listen to music while I am working for sure, but it is more of a tool to create a sort of rhythm rather than a source of inspiration.

According to you, what is your greatest work so far? 

When I was 12 years old I took part in an exhibition cum sale of paintings and artwork by 20 different artists. I think I was the youngest participant. That was when I sold my first piece. I was a black and white A3 work of owls sitting amongst tree branches. I will never forget how amazing it felt to realize that someone wanted to own something I had created.

Procrastination, what is your relationship with it? How do you deal with it?

Ah, my good old friend procrastination. There are times where I just cannot get myself to work, even if there is a deadline approaching. My advice? Sleep it off. Take a short nap. Clear your mind of all the garbage.  It works every time.

If you could wish for one, and only one superpower, what superpower would you chose?

Night vision. Definitely night vision.

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That Lady There by Pearl D’Souza

Tshirts, prints, notebooks, coasters and more available here.

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Ocean Mist by Pearl D’Souza

Tshirts, prints, notebooks, coasters and more available here.

If you weren’t an artist, what do think you would be doing?

Probably Psychology. I took up the subject in high school and found it really interesting.

If you could give one piece of advice to budding artists, what would that be?

As an artist is very important to be yourself and stay true to your voice and style. A lot of people also say that sticking to one style of art is bad. But I strongly disagree. Why should you try colour when your instinct says black and white? Don’t listen to anything but your instinct. Draw inspiration from other styles but stay true to your own. People are drawn to a unique voice.

Lastly, how has the journey been with Cupick thus far?

Although I’m not regular with my Cupick uploads, I think it is a great place for amateur artists like me to put up their work. The exposure you receive by just a few clicks is phenomenal and just what us artists need.

 

Check out more of Pearl’s artwork at Cupick.com/chromium3465

 

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8 thoughts on “Musings: Interview With Pearl D’Souza

  1. Wow…….I’m proud of my Daughter Pearl…….my dream come true baby!!! all the best in life and God bless u always for your commitment and hard work!!! Am sure You’ll make it big!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was so so thrilled Pearl to read your interview . Am so proud and happy for you. May you reach great heights…. Your black and white instinctive creation and detailing continues to fascinate me…..God bless you Pearl.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am extremely thrilled reading your interview Pearl. I am proud. Yes, it was at a very young age all of us recognised the talent in you. The Tiger portrait you reproduced from a photograph I gave you many years ago still is the limelight of our stairway. Your eye for detail amazes me. Don’t look back you have a lot in front of you, KEEP GOING GOD BLESS.

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  4. Pearl, you and your works of art are amazing !! You will go places with your determination and talent. The great thing is you just love what you do and have followed your heart. You have absolute support from your loving Mum, Dad, sister and the rest of your loving family. We look forward to having some of your artwork in our home in Australia as well 😀 All the very best in following your dream.
    Love always, Uncle Syd & Aunty Annette

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